E.A. Sports Today

Self recruiting

Jacksonville’s Guthrie gets proactive shopping his film on site, finds his way to Virginia Peninsula Community College.

Cover photo: Jacksonville’s Cole Guthrie signs Thursday to play baseball for Virginia Peninsula Community College. (Photo by Joe Medley)

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — Arm health limited how much Cole Guthrie could pitch during his Jacksonville High career, but the senior righty found a way to get seen.

He also found a college suitor.

Guthrie signed Thursday to play for Virginia Peninsula Community College. Wearing an off-white VPCC T-shirt shirt with purple letters, he celebrated with family, coaches and teammates in Jacksonville’s School library.

Jacksonville coach Jamison Edwards touted Guthrie’s upside and persistence through arm problems and called it an easy recruitment, from the coach’s perspective.

“Cole put himself out there and made himself available,” Edwards said. “It’s kind of a new trend in recruiting where you go to them, and he found somebody that liked his film and liked the stuff that he had.”

With the help of travel-ball coach Jason Pahman, Guthrie put his film on FieldLevel.

“You have to pay, but you can directly texts coaches, and they text you back,” Guthrie said. “I bet 10 of our whole team got offers within 10 days.”

Guthrie’s offers came from Virginia, to Florida and North Dakota.

“It’s so easy, so simple,” he said. “Every time somebody searches for a pitcher in the country, it pops up. Let’s say, it says, ‘Alabama, looking for pitchers 2024,’ and it notifies me. As soon as it notifies me, I send them a text.”

Guthrie essentially recruited himself.

“Even as a freshman, they tell you, they ain’t going to come to you,” he said. “You’ve got to go to them, so that’s what I did.”

Guthrie appeared in 16 games as a senior, working 19 2/3 relief innings. He struck out 25 batters with a 3.20 ERA.

Edwards managed Guthrie’s time on the mound because of Guthrie’s history of arm problems. He underwent labrum surgery as a freshman. He had a healthy sophomore season but battled a bone bruise and an ulnar collateral ligament sprain as a junior.

He tore his labrum in fall training for his senior season and played his senior season with it. He’ll undergo what he hopes will be his final surgery on June 7 to repair it.

“Nothing super severe,” Edwards said. “It’s just enough to nag him. This year was a little better. We were able to keep it limited, but we had to really watch his pitch count. We had to watch his days in between each appearance and stuff like that.

“He had some really effective innings for us. He’s got a live arm. He’s got a really good off-speed pitch and a breaking ball, when he gets it on. Going somewhere that’s going to be able to help him strengthen his arm and get it developed, I think he’s got a lot of potential to have success at the next level.”

Jacksonville baseball coach Jamison Edwards and players pose for a picture with senior Cole Guthrie during Guthrie’s signing ceremony Thursday. (Photo by Joe Medley)

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